Characteristics of Siberian Huskies & Other Husky Dog Breeds

by Hannah Roundy

Did you know there are various types of Husky dog breeds?

You might picture a dog pulling a sled or a wolf-like creature when you think of a husky. These may be the original roots of the Siberian Husky but now it’s more common to find them cuddling up to humans all around the world. 

What is a Husky?

The term “husky” usually refers to the Siberian Husky dog breed. But there are also the Alaskan Husky, Mini Husky, and Pomeranian Husky along with a dozen other husky mixes. 

Most dog breeds that originate from the Siberia province are some version of a husky – hence the name Siberian Husky. Siberia encompasses the northern region of Asia including most of Russia. 

Siberian Huskies were brought over to Alaska in the early 1900s to participate in sled dog races. Their success in sledding competitions helped the breed gain popularity over the next century.

It’s easy to mistake a husky for a wolf! Most huskies have similar pointed ears and markings on their head and chest. They also have thick coats of fur to keep them warm in intense ice and snow. 

Husky puppies and adults are also known to be very vocal. Their breed is known to have a high barking level and will even moan or “sing” to express their emotions. 

Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information


Most dogs were bred for the purpose of herding, hunting, or guarding property. But the Siberian Husky was originally bred to be a companion dog and pull sleds for the Chukchi people of Northeast Asia. 

The Chuchki needed sled dogs to help them travel in below-freezing temperatures to hunt and gather food. Teams of Siberian Huskies excelled in this role and made their way to compete in sled races in Alaska. 

In 1925, a musher led his team of huskies on a 658 mile run to Nome, Alaska in only five days. The rush was to deliver a serum that would treat a wave of diphtheria in Nome. Balto was the lead Siberian Husky on that historical run and was rewarded with a statue that still stands in Central Park in New York City. 

Physical Characteristics of Siberian Huskies

The Siberian Husky is very wolf-like in their appearance. They have a medium-length double coat of fur that tends to be darker in color on their back and head. White or light-colored markings can usually be found on their mouths, chests, and legs. 

A pure White Husky is really rare. It requires a special recessive gene to remove the other color markings found on a husky. That’s why a White Husky is a site to behold!

Even though Siberian Huskies shed quite a bit, they are self-cleaning so there’s no need to bath them more than a few times a year. Do be sure to brush them weekly to remove old hair!

These huskies have long furry tails that may have a slight curl to them. It’s easy to be entranced by Siberian Husky eyes – they often come in a bright blue shade or deep brown. 

While husky puppies are adorable and tiny, just wait for them to grow! Full-grown Siberian Huskies can stand 20 to 23.5 inches tall and 35 to 60 pounds heavy. 

Personality Traits

Siberian Huskies are very affectionate pups that are known to be good with other dogs and young children. They crave companionship from their humans or other dogs and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. 

They are somewhat easy to train, but it’s best to teach commands when they are little husky puppies. True to their sledding origin, Siberian Huskies love to run. Training them to stop and come back are essential!

Cardio activities like running, hiking, or long walks will help a Siberian Husky thrive. Since they were bred to run, be sure to keep them on a leash to avoid fleeing.  

Alaskan Husky Dog Breed Facts


The Alaskan Husky is more of a mix between different breeds and Siberian Huskies rather than a pure breed. Greyhounds, German Shorthair Pointers, and Eskimos are the most common mixes that resulted in the Alaskan Husky. 

These dogs originated from their namesake of Alaska. When Siberian Huskies came to Alaska for sledding races in the 1900s, they mixed with other breeds to create Alaskan Husky puppies. 
Similar to their Siberian ancestors, the Alaskan Husky is a fantastic sled puller and long-distance runner. 

Physical Traits of Alaskan Huskies

The appearance of an Alaskan Husky varies depending on what breeds they are mixed with. They will most often take on the traits of Siberian Huskies and can be around their usual weight of 35 to 60 pounds. 

These huskies do shed their double coats quite a bit. Shedding increases twice a year around spring and fall. It’s recommended to brush them every other day to cut down on the husky hair around your home. 


Alaskan Huskies are very social and love to be around other people and dogs. Socialize your husky puppies while they are young so they can learn how to get along with others!

The key to keeping an Alaskan Husky happy and healthy is to train them well. This breed is known to be a bit stubborn so correct bad behaviors and reward good behaviors as early as you can. 

Like most Husky breeds, Alaskans need lots of space to play and exercise. They love to tap into that sled dog gene and run, hike, and walk. 

Mini Husky Breed Information


Mini Husky isn’t the official breed term but more of a simple nickname. The breed is called the Alaskan Klee Kai and is recognized by the American Kennel Club

There are ancestral traces of native dogs from Siberia and Alaska that make up the Mini Husky breed. People relied on Mini Huskies for their hunting, tracking, sled-pulling, and warning skills.

The Mini Huskies from ages past look a bit different than they do today. A breeder named Linda Spurlin perfected the modern Alaskan Klee Kai we see today in the 1970s. 


Imagine a tiny wolf puppy – that is basically what a Mini Husky looks like! It’s the dark fur on top, light fur underneath, pointed ears, and curvy tail of a token wolf or Siberian Husky. 

But these huskies are bite size compared to the others. The weight of a Mini Husky only varies from about 6 to 25 pounds. They only stand 12 to 17 inches tall, as well. 

The Mini Husky has the same medium-length, double coat of other husky breeds. It’s best to brush out their hair weekly and bath them a few times a year. Keep the nails of a Mini Husky trimmed as best as you can. 

Mini Husky Personality

As long as they are socialized while they’re young, Mini Huskies can get along well with other dogs. The breed is a historically good companion dog, as well, and is affectionate with humans. 

Alaskan Klee Kai do have a high drive to chase prey so be sure to keep them on a leash when you’re out of the house. It’s essential to train husky puppies early, too, so they know not to run off or chase. 

Mini Huskies don’t need as much exercise as the larger breeds. They are happy to swim, hike, camp, and run, but don’t need this in their daily routine. Playing fetch or taking a brisk walk is the perfect daily exercise for them. 

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